In 2014, American Express made it so you could get the bonus only once per lifetime on personal cards, and in February 2016 that rule was extended to business cards.

But there might be a targeted exception. Reader g passes along a targeted offer he got for the American Express Platinum Card.

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The offer is to open the American Express Platinum Card with 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. The offer is addressed to him and has unique offer codes to apply online or by phone.

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What’s interesting is that g has had the Platinum Card before and gotten its bonus, which should mean that he is ineligible for a new bonus. All the online Amex offers have language like this, which limit the bonus to new applicants. For instance, here’s the language on the public 40k Amex Platinum offer page:

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But his offer doesn’t have that language.

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Because he was targeted for the offer and the language excluding people who had had the Platinum Card was absent, g called the number in the targeted offer to ask if he could get the card and bonus even though he had the card and bonus before.

[The Amex rep] said my prior status did not affect my ability to tap into the MR bonus again! She did not speculate why the offer is being extended; however, the offer makes mention of the fact that I am also an EveryDay cardholder, which could mean that having/getting the EveryDay card (the no fee card I use to protect my MR points) is a prerequisite to accessing the offer. My guess is that the Citi Prestige with its greater club access, unrestricted travel credit and bonus point opportunities has really cut into AmEx’s premium card membership.

My Take

Phone reps can be wrong. I think there is a decent chance that if he applied for the card, he would not get the bonus automatically. But I’m not sure how he could be kept from getting it eventually when a phone rep said he was eligible and the application page doesn’t mention that previous cardholders are ineligible for the bonus.

I asked g to let us know what happens if he applies for the card.

Has anyone else recently been targeted for an Amex offer for a card they’ve previously had?

This would be huge news if the once-per-lifetime rule had an exception.

Also see: Issuing Banks’ Rules for Approvals and New Bonuses

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